I also opened up the rear room into another small CD Studio as I had felt that the world of the CD was starting to expand and I employed a guy to work for me named Mark. He was a really nice guy, a bit on the quiet side, but a very good worker. I liked the idea that I could leave him to get on with the booking of his clients, I didn’t want to stand there looking over any ones shoulder.
As Porkys became more and more popular I felt that I should find another Vinyl engineer and I poached a guy called Paul Solomons from a friend of mine Graham, who owns the Exchange Mastering in Camden. I later rang Graham to apologise for stealing staff from him, but Graham said he really was quite pleased that I had taken him as he tended to be a bit of a prima-donna at times, which I found out later.
Graham had not oversold Paul. I’m sure that Paul thought that the Music Industry would collapse without him, and when I consider that I am quite a patient man I might have sacked Paul much earlier than I did. It was a shame for Matt as he was a quiet lad and Paul got to him and Matt became Door-Matt to Paul a shame really, as Matt had a real nice way dealing with clients.
I ran Porkys Mastering in Shaftesbury Avenue for fifteen years and it contributed a fair piece to the Record Industry. I also remained good friends with George Harrison and still mastered some of the Vinyl for him. The only time that George was not too happy with me was when I had to sell the little Rickenbacker Guitar he had given to me back in the seventies.
That also was a very sad time for me, I will go over the story:
While Porkys was doing so well I was approached by a man called Chris King. He was a friend of my maintenance guy, Sean Davies, who I asked if Chris was genuine and could be trusted to which Sean said “Yes.” Chris King wanted to open a vinyl pressing factory up north as rates and expenses would be so much cheaper than London prices. Chris lived in Nottingham and he knew of plenty of premises which would be perfect for a factory.
Chris told me that he had experience in the pressing of vinyl discs and if we became partners he would work the factory end, while I (Porkys) would be doing all the cutting for the factory and we both would be equal owners. This to me seemed a very good idea, in fact a natural progression in the Industry, I could get all of my clients to get their work pressed there and Chris could send all of his clients to me for Mastering vinyl or be it CD.
I thought at last things would move even further forward, Chris said that he had purchased some pressing equipment from poorer countries at a very good price and we would now need to go to see his bank manager up in Nottingham as we were getting closer and would have need of an account purely for the Vinyl Factory.
We had our meeting with the Bank Manager and Chris informed me and the Bank Manager that he had spent about £40.000 on pressing equipment, and it now looked like I had to start making my input as we now needed space to deliver the Presses to. Chris had found a Factory which belonged to the local council and they were very keen that we should have it, they had made good reductions and it all looked good.
My input was to be £40.000 which would match Chris King’s input. The only thing I was not keen on was the fact that Chris wanted my name on the Lease for the Factory. So we are as equal Partners on the Factory, but as I also had my name on the Lease on Shaftesbury Avenue I wasn’t comfortable with this. But Chris kept going on about it saying it ‘shows that we are equal in everything.’
To cut a long story short, things did not work out as they should have. The next thing I knew was that I had received a court order from Nottingham County Council for non payment of rent. I spoke to Chris asking him why they had not been paid just to hear him say that there had been nothing but repairs: replacement of pipes, repairs on the presses, in fact the money in the Bank had been used up. So I said to Chris that he would have to input more as he had only put equipment in up to now and I wanted to see some finance being
inputted to cover things like rent and rates.
Anyway things got worse and then I received a summons to appear in Court as I was being sued for all the rent and rates and of course interest which had knocked the outstanding to around £30.000. Chris King was nowhere to be seen. I employed a solicitor who to me seemed half-baked and didn’t give me much hope. Nottingham Council would not listen to me regarding the debt they just kept saying pay it fully or we will apply to make you Bankrupt - in my Studios and my House too.
I tried without any luck to contact Chris King in the hope that he would at least offer to take some blame, but no, he ducked and dived so much that I was to be sacrificed to the Council. I can’t remember who it was but someone said whatever you have which carries the most value sell it now and get yourself off the hook before you lose everything you have worked for. A friend suggested the Rickenbacker which George Harrison had given to me. A friend of mine who was into buying/selling various memorabilia at Christies said that he would approach them and find out what they thought that my guitar might fetch, to my surprise it was a much greater price than I had imagined and would wipe out all of the debt.
I had my friend handle all of the arrangements and also I had to get a letter to George to apologise for having to sell it, I believe that he was really annoyed with me and I knew inside that it would hurt him, and the shame was he never spoke to me again after that. I could never forgive Chris King for what I had to do because of him. I hope that as the saying goes “What goes around comes around” I’m not normally spiteful but I hope that what comes around has the name Chris King on it.